Shopify High-Risk Payment Processing: Best Solutions for High-Risk Merchants

Shopify high risk payments gateway
Josh Phelps
May 18, 2023

Updated May 2024

When it comes to online payments with Shopify as a high-risk merchant, it's important to know that you'll need to work with third-party payment processors. That's because Shopify doesn't offer high-risk payment processing directly, but it does integrate with third-party companies that can provide you the payment services you need. If you're a high-risk company, you require a custom merchant account to accept payments for goods or services on Shopify.

The best Shopify high-risk merchant account provider offers low rates, fast integrations, and helpful customer support. They'll get you set-up and processing payments quickly. If you're just starting a new store or adding new items to an existing store, be sure to check the rules and regulations that go along with your account. Your current payment processor may not have the ability to work with your Shopify ecommerce store. If that's the case, you won't be able to process payments on Shopify when someone makes a purchase.

You might also consider working with payment aggregators. Although their straightforward sign-up process can seem like an easy way to find a payment processor for Shopify, there are some drawbacks to partnering with a payment aggregator. The primary issue is that many refuse to work with high-risk industries. Additionally, they often have a fee structure with graduated rates rather than being based on sales volume.

Shopify Terms and Conditions Prohibits Many High-Risk Merchants

Shopify has an extensive agreement when it comes to their merchant account legalities. You can learn about the specifics when it comes to online payment processing on their Terms and Conditions Page . Moreover, they list Prohibited Businesses explicitly. These entail multiple industries, and the ones they mention are not exhaustive.

Why Is My Shopify Merchant Account Considered High Risk?

There are a number of reasons your merchant account can be considered high risk because payment processors worry about the liability they take on when working with you. These reasons include – higher levels of chargebacks, lower credit scores, and regulated industries.

Chargeback Rates – Your chargeback rate is determined by the number of chargebacks customers request from their bank. Most payment processors don't want to see your rates exceed 1% because it causes added work on their end. In addition, high chargeback rates affect your bottom line. When a chargeback occurs, the money is taken directly from your merchant account.

Refunds can also hurt your company and high refund rates are seen as a precursor to chargebacks. If you notice many people returning your products, be sure to create a process where you can monitor what's causing those issues and prevent them from occurring.

Credit Scores – If you have a low credit score and want to start a business, you may face higher reserve rates on your account. This is because your merchant account provider wants to hedge risk when it comes to opening an account for your business operation. On the plus side, many providers will give you the processing solution you need if your credit score is within a reasonable range.

Regulated Industries – As mentioned above there is a long list of regulated industries such as CBD , Adult, Firearms and more. A good rule of thumb is that if you sell products that have an age requirement or could be considered harmful to consumers, you are probably in a high-risk industry and need a Shopify merchant account from an established provider.

Typically, if you run a high-risk business, you'll need a high-risk merchant account to accept online payments. High risk merchant accounts are available through third party payment processors if you'd like to remain on Shopify, or separate from Shopify altogether.

Shopify Payments Prohibited Businesses Include:

  • Monetary Services
  • Law Firms
  • Cryptocurrency
  • Credit Services
  • Adult Content
  • Branded Goods without Proper Sales Licenses
  • Gambling
  • Gaming and Video Game Betting
  • Casino
  • Regulated Products
  • Nutraceuticals
  • Social Media Follows
  • Drug or Medical Items
  • Get Rich Quick
  • Ponzi Schemes
  • Pyramid Schemes
  • Mugshot publication

Shopify Payments High Risk

Shopify Payments is exclusively a low-risk payment processor. This means they only work with select types of businesses. High-risk businesses have to seek out a third-party payment processor in order to accept credit card payments. Depending on the industry you're in, there are different qualifications you have to meet to apply for a merchant account.

For example, if Shopify drops your payment processing because you have an adult site, then you'll have to contact a payment processor who works directly with that vertical. There are many kinds of adult sites from streaming and video to books and toys, and every business type has their own MCC code and regulations.

How To Setup High-Risk Payment Gateways On Shopify

A high-risk gateway on Shopify is a tool that connects directly to your merchant account and will allow you to process Shopify payments. To set it up, you'll have to find a gateway company that integrates within your store. The good news is that many times your high-risk account provider already has one that they can help you set up.

Once you find one, the payment gateway setup process is as simple as uploading code to your Shopify page. Depending on the gateway, some code works better than others. If you have any installation issues, be sure to contact support. Oftentimes, they have teams that are dedicated to the tech side of their payment products.

Once you've completed the setup process, you'll be ready to start accepting payments. To get up and running smoothly, make sure you find a high-risk payment provider with excellent customer service.

Work With Zen Payments as Your High-Risk Payment Service Provider For Shopify

Not all high-risk payment processors are created equal. If you are a high-risk company and need a third-party payment processing company to process payments on Shopify, Zen Payments is the best option. We create custom business solutions that fit your business model. We'll help you with everything from Shopify payments to setting up a high-risk payment gateway and payment processing. We also offer ACH payments and various payment methods to ensure we meet the needs of your company.

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Josh Phelps is an experienced sales professional with eight years of expertise, including four years in payment processing. Throughout his career, Josh has successfully secured approvals for thousands of businesses, demonstrating his skill in navigating and optimizing the payment processing landscape.

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